Tackle Sickle Cell Disease with Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty, June 9


Feb 2, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; NFL players Devin McCourtny and Jason McCourty pose for a photo on the red carpet at the Maxim Party presented by Patron Tequila. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

It has been more than 3.5 years since Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty was a rookie participant during a 2009 regular-season matchup against the New England Patriots. Amidst blizzard-like conditions at Gillette Stadium, the Titans fell behind 45-0 at halftime and 59-0 at the end of the third quarter. That 59-0 deficit was the final score. This loss dropped the Titans to a 0-6 record. Despite winning eight of their last 10 games, the Titans didn’t qualify for the postseason.

For (Jason) McCourty, that loss couldn’t have been much worse. At least it came before his twin brother, Devin McCourty, became the Patriots’ 27th-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Imagine the bragging rights that Devin would’ve had if he were part of that 59-0 shellacking. Of course, Devin earned his bragging rights when the Patriots invaded L.P. Field and dominated the 2012 Week 1 opener, 34-13.

So maybe Jason hasn’t enjoyed much success against the Patriots. Maybe his twin brother has gotten the upper hand with higher draft selections, head-to-head matchups and a Super Bowl appearance. These brothers won’t hold grudges because of what happens on the gridiron. Their competitiveness and love for one another won’t allow that.

What it will allow for is teaming up for a wonderful cause. On June 9, the McCourty Twins will host a 5K Run and Walk in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. This will serve as the major fundraising component of the “Tackle Sickle Cell” campaign.

Partnering with Embrace Kids Foundation, the McCourty Twins have launched the Tackle Sickle Cell campaign in an effort to educate the public, increase blood donors, and raise money & awareness for the fight against sickle cell disease. Learn more about this event at TackleSickleCell.org.

Some Titans enthusiasts are likely aware of sickle cell disorders after Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark missed a 2011-12 AFC Wild Card matchup against the Denver Broncos. However, according to his Cure League foundation, Clark doesn’t have sickle cell disease; he has sickle cell trait. From the Cure League website:

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ryan Clark does not have sickle cell disease. He has what doctors refer to as sickle cell trait.

People with sickle cell disease inherited two sickle cell genes — one sickle cell gene from each parent. People with sickle cell trait, like Ryan Clark, inherited only one sickle cell gene from one parent. Typically, those with sickle cell trait never experience any symptoms associated with the blood disorder. But Clark did experience symptoms — symptoms that nearly cost him his life.

Read more about Clark’s story and his near fatal experience during a 2007 game at Mile High Stadium.

The McCourty Twins have witnessed some of their own family members battle the disease. Complications include fatigue, body aches, poor eyesight, ulcers, infections in the bones, gallbladder, lung and urinary tract, and painful joints caused by arthritis. They want to create awareness for a disease that affects approximately 100,000 Americans.

It’s crucial that Titans fans pull together and help Jason raise money for the Tackle Sickle Cell campaign. If Devin wins, Jason will endure something much worse than a six-game losing streak, 59-0 loss or a Week 1 home loss to a twin brother. If Jason loses, he’ll morph into a Patriot—and not just any Patriot:

Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot gestures during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Texans 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

So let’s review. If Jason loses:

Oct 30, 2011; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans corner back Jason McCourty (30) celebrates after recovering a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports


Jan 26, 2013, Honolulu, HI, USA; New England Patriots mascot Pat Patriot at Ohana Day for the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If my opinion means anything, I think Devin needs the makeover:

Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) walks off the field after losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports


Dec 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans mascot T-Rac poses with a Titans cheerleader in a Christmas costume during the game against the New York Jets at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously though—regardless of whether you’re a Titans fan, Patriots fan, you loathe both teams or you hate the NFL, consider helping a good cause.

To register and/or donate for the 5K Run and Walk, please visit TackleSickleCell.org. Choose between “Join #TeamJ-Mac” or “Join #TeamD-Mac.” Enroll as either an active participant or a donator. Follow @TackleSC on Twitter and join the conversation by using #TackleSC. You can like them on Facebook.com/TackleSickleCell. Follow the McCourty Twins at @McCourtyTwins . Event is June 9.

Get ready, Devin. The Titans (fans) are coming #TeamJ-Mac .